“Racism is a political issue. Inequality is a political issue. Mental health is a political issue. We should hold politicians to account.”
“It’s not just about looking at improving services that fix us; it’s also about looking at what broke us in the first place.”
“There is a Bermuda Triangle in society for Black people. At one corner of the triangle is education, at another, the police and in the third corner are mental health services. Far too many Black people simply disappear into this triangle, many of them only to be seen decades later – some, tragically, never again.”
Author, Raza Griffiths, writes – The Kindred Minds Manifesto! I believe it’s pretty unique in being BME service user led and having such a “bigger picture” view of the changes needed to improve the lives of BME mental health service users.
I’ve been working on this for 2.5 years with input from hundreds of BME service users at 18 consultation events, mainly in Southwark borough, London, and an extensive review of the literature. The manifesto has national relevance, I believe.
Slides provide an overview of the process of how the Kindred Minds BME mental health service user led manifesto was written, over the course of 2.5 years, using apposite words and pictures for people who hate long text heavy documents! Click thumbnails above to open them or Download HERE> Kindred Minds powerpoint
The priority now is to ensure we galvanise BME service users and allies to take the recommendations forward. For this we need a stimulus like a launch event. We have already secured a free venue this summer and MPs, campaigners, SLaM Trustees and other VIPs have expressed an interest in attending. The Voice newspaper expressed interest in covering a launch, particularly if we organise a public debate around the Manifesto and the BBC has expressed an interest in me talking about the launch as part of a series on mental health.
For the launch event, we urgently need £6,000 to pay for design and publication of the Manifesto (we intend to disseminate this at the launch and later to other key players not able to make the launch) and also for refreshments and entertainment. Know of anyone who could fund this? I’m approaching various funders.
The newsworthiness and relevance of the Manifesto is greater now than ever. This is due to the race inequality audit Theresa May ordered that was published earlier this year, and the Mental Health Act Review currently under way. These developments put race based mental health inequality and the use of force and restraint that is disproportionately used against BME communities firmly under the spotlight – whatever the Govt’s motivations.
There are also new BME mental health initiatives challenging BME mental health inequalities, including Synergi, an academic led national programme, and Black Thrive based in Lambeth, both of which seek to challenge BME mental health inequalities. I believe we should use the Manifesto, which is BME service user led, to influence all these other initiatives and the Review, to help ensure the BME service user voice is heard.
In PDF format download HERE > Kindred Minds Manifesto A Call for Social Justice
If you can help raise the necessary funds or other ideas to help the manifesto gain prominence please get in touch.
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